McLaughlin sent an ominous warning when he clocked the faster lap in a Supercar at Mount Panorama - a scorching two minutes, 04.14 seconds - in Friday's final practice before qualifying.
In the end McLaughlin fell an agonising 0.08 of a second short (2:04.22) of his mark but still emerged as the driver to stop on Sunday.
Scott McLaughlin slashed the practice lap record previously held Jamie Whincup by 0.8 seconds.
The front of the grid for Sunday's 161-lap classic will be determined by Saturday's top-10 shootout.
Holden driver David Reynolds was second fastest in qualifying, with Chaz Mostert third.
"I am pretty blown away to be honest", McLaughlin said.
"I'm excited for that, it's one of the best sessions of the year, it's going to be a lot of fun and it might be our last dry session of the weekend, so we'll wait and see".
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"The stop between practice and qualifying I don't think we made the vehicle any better, if not made it a little bit worse, so we need to work on that".
McLaughlin's 2:04.1470s turned heads in Practice 5, and while he eventually got within a tenth of that despite poorer track conditions in the afternoon, he feels changes made before qualifying did not hit the mark.
McLaughlin was able to take another 10th of a second off his time, while David Reynolds jumped to second, but with just 14 seconds to go James Moffatt put his vehicle into the wall at The Dipper, ending the session slightly early.
The New Zealand driver lowered the practice lap record previously held Whincup by 0.8 seconds and laid down a marker as the driver to beat in Sunday's Great Race. It felt like each time we made it better.
"We then made a massive step forward in qualifying, after we turned the auto inside out after practice five, and now we're in the shootout and anything can happen tomorrow".
Jones isn't expecting miracles form Heimgartner, who'll compete at the Bathurst 1000 for the fourth time in his career, but is confident he'll be a useful co-driver for Tim Slade.
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